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Sydney Hill is a junior middle blocker on the volleyball team this year. Hill is second on the team in attack percentage and blocks this season and will look to shut down Clemson and Georgia Tech’s attack when they visit Memorial Gymnasium this weekend. Virginia will host the Tigers Friday night and the Yellow Jackets Saturday night.

Question: How did you get started playing volleyball?
Hill: I was actually much more into dance and acting than volleyball up until my first volleyball camp in eithth grade. My older sister played volleyball on our high school team and her coach saw how tall I was and wanted me to come to a camp. After that I started playing competitively and fell in love with it. So I guess I would have to thank my big sister for her contagious love for the game!

Question: What do you like most about the game of volleyball?
Hill: I love the team aspect of volleyball. You have to rely on others and others have to rely on you. Your team becomes like a family to you. I also love the competitive atmosphere. A game-point kill or a stuff block is unbeatable.

Question: Do you find it more satisfying to get a block or a kill?
Hill: That is a tough question. Obviously, I love both or I wouldn’t be a middle blocker. Since I have to choose, I would say getting a stuff block is more satisfying because a lot of strategy goes into blocking as well as execution.

Something else that often goes unnoticed about middle blocking is when we hold the block and another teammate gets a kill. It is just as satisfying as getting a kill yourself because you tricked the opposing team.

Question: Why did you become a middle blocker?
Hill: I was a middle blocker by default when I was younger because I was the “tall girl”. I tried playing outside and right side for a couple of teams, but I love the versatility I have in the middle. You can hit from all pins and you get to be tricky with secret plays and hits.

Question: Why did you choose to come to Virginia to play?
Hill: Virginia is a very appealing school on paper because of its amazing academics and that was a big part of my criteria for choosing a school. Once I came to visit, it was obvious that because of the schools beauty and the girls on the team that Virginia was the place for me. I fell in love with it on my visit and accepted the offer a week later.

Question: What is one aspect of your game you’ve been working to improve?
Hill: This year I have been focusing on being quick in transition. The hardest working middles are the ones that are constantly running around and available on every set.

Question: With Halloween approaching, what has been your best Halloween costume?
Hill: I love Halloween and dressing up! One of my favorite Halloween costumes of mine was when I was Pocahontas. I love Disney movies and I was feeling extra creative that year so I made the costume myself out of scratch material. It definitely challenged my nearly non-existent sewing skills!

Question: Do you know what you’re going to be this year?
Hill: That’s still under construction, but the team tries to have a theme every year and dress up together which is a blast. My first year, we were all characters from the Wizard of Oz.

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